Review: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night DVD

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Kevin Munroe | CAST: Brandon Routh, Taye Diggs, Sam Huntington, Peter Stormare, Anita Briem
RELEASE DATE: 7/26/11 | PRICE: Blu-ray $29.98, DVD $22.98
SPECS: PG-13 | 107 min. | Horror action comedy | 2.35:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night movie scene

Brandon Routh is paranormal private dick Dylan Dog.

Based on the still-popular Italian comic book series by Tiziana Sclavi that launched back in the mid-1980s, Dylan Dog is a barely engaging entertaining horror-comedy-action-noir mash-up. The movie tells the story of a supernatural detective (Brandon Routh, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), who works the backstreets of New Orleans servicing crimes involving the underworld’s gaggle of werewolves, vampires and zombies.

A one-liner-spouting private dick armed with appropriately nasty-cool silver-tipped weapons, Dylan Dog finds himself wrapped up in a rivalry between his clients and their adversaries that may escalate into all-out war if he doesn’t solve a series of murders — which are pretty hard to pull off as everyone is already pretty much dead.

The film has a little too much mash-upping and not enough fun to show for it. It’s a moderately budgeted movie, so the f/x aren’t exceptional, but in their place is a helluva lot of exposition that grinds things to a halt every 15 minutes.

And though the cast of familiar faces gives it their all, including Taye Diggs (Equilibrium), Peter Stormare (Small Town Murder Songs) and The Tudors’ Anita Briem, the dialog by Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly is too filled with exposition and too plodding. When a movie blends so many genres together, particulary horror and comedy, I need more than just talk — I need to feel it.

Sclavi also penned the 1991 novel Dellamorte Dellamore, which was the basis for Michele Soavi’s 1994 horror-comedy movie of the same name (which was released on these shores as Cemetery Man.) In additional to both films having similar-looking leading men — Rupert Everett stars in Cemetery Man — they both contain peripherally similar themes involving the undead and keeping them in check. One film, however, does a much better job of capturing the spirit of Sclavi’s comics and transferring it to the big screen.

So do yourself a favor and check out Cemetery Man


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.